Making Lemonade

February 7th, 2013 - filed under: The Farm » Family

At the beginning of April Damian returned to California. We had been apart for a few weeks, and they had been some of the best weeks I’d had in years. But when I picked him up from LAX, in that 2 hour ride it took to get back to Santa Barbara, almost all of my anxiety returned. It was shocking. To both of us, since he was having the exact same experience.

That’s the moment we realized that our relationship was part of the problem. Right there, it was clear. And as we talked we began to understand that so many of those issues that we had thought were “my stuff” or “his stuff” were actually . . . our stuff. And so we immediately started to work on that.

By the time we left SB I had been really, truly, actually happy and confident for almost 3 weeks. And I was determined to bring it back with me to p-town.

If we couldn’t live in SoCal, we said, we’d just have to bring some of that sunny hometown magic back to Portland.

Portland is so pretty in the spring time.

We settled back into our life. It was a strange adjustment, because I remember the first time I fell in love with Portland and how it was so instantaneous and effortless. This time, it took a bit of trying.

But, there was this one day.

It was a Sunday. I got up early with Waits to let Damian sleep. We drove up to the the Mississippi district, to drop off some brownies I’d made for the World-Wide Vegan Bake Sale that would be happening that afternoon. It was a gorgeous morning, uncharacteristically warm.

Back home later on, Damian and I decided to grab some lunch at one of the food carts near the bake sale. On our way, my mama friend Jo texted to tell us she was also heading over. Our two families met up at the sale, grabbed our goodies, grabbed some lunch from Native Bowl, and couldn’t find a place to sit. So we google-mapped a nearby park and set off walking.

Discovering awesome new Portland neighborhoods is one of my greatest joys. And this one is especially good, with amazing homes and backyard scrap art tree houses and all the tulips and cherry trees in full bloom. The kids played at the park while us grown-ups talked and ate. It was a casual, friendly, unrehearsed and totally delightful little picnic. Just the sort of thing I thought I’d left behind in SB – that easy, comfortable kind of friendship.

But no, I realized. I finally have those sorts of relationships in Portland, after all.

On the way home I tweeted:

I really think that Portland on a hot, sunny day, is just the greatest place on earth. Just the absolute greatest.

And I really do.

At the very end of April I had my first visit with my Naturopath. I wept as she took my history – as I told her my story. Naturopathy is like medicine and therapy all rolled into one. I love it.

I left that first appointment with an order for massive amounts of blood tests and a purse full of herbal tinctures, homeopathic solutions, a bottle of castor oil, and a prescription to eat specific seeds on a lunar cycle. It was crunchier than crunchy could be, and I had to laugh at myself. But I was so desperate and so hopeless that I was willing to try anything (and thank god for that, as I eventually learned).

I was filled with hope. And overall April was like that. It was a beautiful homecoming and a beautiful new beginning. It was the start of my ascent.

May coming soon . . .

. . . oh but also, Waits loves you! (refresh your browser if you can’t see the video)

  • Guest

    Like so many have said before, I too am so glad to read all of your updates. Your honesty is refreshing, I have spent many days trying to convince myself to “just be positive” when I should just be in the moment and if that moment happens to be a sad, frustrated, angry one, so be it……reading your authenticity post helped me realize that, and those moments seem a bit shorter now that I can let them happen. Thank you!

    and Love you too Waits!!

  • Olivia Jean

    Didn’t mean to post as guest! Olivia Jean here :)

  • Applekat

    your honesty is magnificent. So happy you are back. xx

  • skeptk_vegan

    What camera do you use? It’s magnificent!

    Waits for the win, that was awesome.

  • Nina

    You say crunchy I say traditional :)

  • andrea

    Seems like you had your opening to the world after receiving a bit of sun, like a bud :) and Oh, Waits is the best! <3

  • Nicole

    I like!!

  • Sienna

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I remember reading your posts years ago about how Portland was amazing. Now suddenly you were saying the same thing about SoCal. The grass is always greener……..

  • trd3358

    I have so loved reading these catch-ups. Although I rarely commented your blog was/ continues to be a source of inspiration and truth. I am absolutely thrilled to see that you are back (and feeling well)! And that video of Waits is too friggin’ cute!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Talk about heart explosion – I’m dying from Waits’ cuteness!

    Seriously – everything you wrote about just went *poof* out of my brain as soon as I watched that video.

    (well, except that I’m envious of your vegan doughnut…)

  • Meghan

    I am glad to be getting caught up. Where is Erosan? I feel like your blog isn’t complete without his comments. I just bought Unconditional Parenting for my kindle… I think it is the first ebook that I ever spent money on. :D

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. Erosaaaaaaan . . .

  • Taylor

    I used to read your blog when I first moved to Seattle about 2 years ago. I really enjoyed it and was bummed last year when you went on your “sabbatical”. This is because I was going through a really difficult time myself and sought your blog as a comfort and source of inspiration. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m really happy you’re back. Though I don’t live in the PNW anymore, this blog is still relevant to me. Thank you for your honesty! It’s really nice and refreshing.

  • Taylor

    ps. Waits is adorable. !!!

  • Rachel Jacobs

    Oh my Waits is just precious. I love that you provided that short video of him.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I emailed him, hopefully he will show up in the comments soon. We’ve been emailing a bit since I started blogging again! =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you, I’m so glad that post is resonating with so many people!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    And I am so happy to BE back! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I use a very old and beat-up Canon 5D with a 50 mm lens. Also I use my iphone, more often than I should, haha.

  • Sayward Rebhal


  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, I definitely feel like a little bud opening up in the sun. That’s a great way of putting it!

  • Sayward Rebhal


  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, that video makes me grin every single time I watch it. It just so completely encapsulates that little guy! Also, yeah that vegan donut was amazing and I MISS THE GLUTENS, *tear*

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Taylor, I’m sorry you went through a rough time but I hope it’s turned around now. <3

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Oh, I know what you mean! I have over 10 pounds of super-duper-gluteny bread flour in my fridge/freezer and have been making bagels for Nina. I’m not sure which makes me more sad – getting up at 5am to make bagels I can’t eat, or the utter FAIL every time I try to reproduce them gf! (I can’t find a hydrocolloid I’m comfortable with, but at the same time I can’t. stop. experimenting.)

  • skeptk_vegan

    Ha! I primarily wanted to know if you preferred Canon over Nikon, so thanks!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I do use a Canon but it seems like every time I see a photo that I really LOVE, it was taken with a Nikon, so I can’t say I fully endorse the Canon. I mean in reality, they’re both great cameras, ya know? But as far as preference, I’ve only used the Canon so I can’t really compare . . .

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Mmm bagels . . . yeah, I’ve never had a g-f bagel that compared. *sigh*